On Dec. 22, the Russian government succeeded in its long-standing campaign to wrest control of the country’s largest single foreign investment project — the $22 billion natural gas development on the Russian Pacific island of Sakhalin. The project includes the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and related export facilities built in Russia. According to the deal, Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Corp. will each surrender half of their shares in the Sakhalin Energy consortium. In their place, OAO Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled natural gas monopoly, has taken a majority (50 percent plus one share) stake in […]

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MOSCOW — Under the leadership of the Justice and Development Party, Turkey has been drifting eastward in recent years — but not toward the Islamic world. Instead, disputes with European countries over Cyprus and other barriers to Turkey’s entry into the European Union, as well as continuing differences between Ankara and Washington over U.S. policy in Iraq, have helped launch a de facto Ankara-Moscow axis in Eurasia. The last decade has seen a weakening of the factors that have traditionally tied Turkey to the West. Turkish leaders no longer believe they need NATO’s support in an unlikely military confrontation with […]

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — U.S. lawmakers have again fallen for a steel industry propaganda campaign. The cause this time is a news article that rehashed what has been known for years about the inhumane conditions of charcoal workers in Brazil. Charcoal is used to make pig iron, which is transformed into any number of consumer goods for sale in the United States. Every several years, usually around election time, the United States steel industry stirs up its lobby in an effort to close the U.S. market to foreign competitors. Democrats and Republicans are both subject to the barrage of […]

BANGKOK, Thailand — Cambodia is on the verge of attracting the attention of business news writers instead of the horror headlines that for so long marked reporting about the Southeast Asian country. Instead of horrendous stories of the murderous and bizarre Khmer Rouge regime that bludgeoned the place back into the dark ages, the news out of Cambodia is set to focus on oil and gas production and refineries and port development. It should be a time for happy anticipation by the international institutions and NGOs that have propped up the country for years. But instead there is trepidation that […]